I finally figured out that if I put my phone behind me with the guitar facing away from the speaker, I can get something vaguely like sound balance with the vocals and still play with the pick. At least, it’s not the guitar super loud, the vocals barely audible, and the whole thing so horrifically unbalanced that it will make your ears bleed. Now that I know this, I will go back and re-record the last two I posted so I can get them not ear-bleedy enough for you to get a better feel for them.
Didn’t play (or for that matter, sing) this very well this time through, but new tune. And, a nice short one! I think I’m getting better about writing songs that don’t go on for years. I always stop at the end, like this and go ‘does this feel over? does there need to be more going on here?’ That’s the poetry talking. It makes me over-complicate.
In any case, this one started in a weird sort of place, with working through my thought process on projects. I always observe how some people are really detail-oriented and great and just working their way through things in a very A to B to C sort of way – they think through projects with this very efficient sort of system. And, as I was thinking on this, I thought ‘sometimes I do that, I guess, but most of the time I’m just sort of connecting airplanes to xylophones.’ Which, then set me off on going ‘gee, what is the connection between airplanes and xylophones, and would it make a good song?’ A few hours later, this song just sort of fell together.
It’s a weird one because of that. Normally figuring out the melody to go with the chords can take a bit of wiggling, or lyrics will have to be changed to make it work. This one, though, I wrote the lyrics and then decided ‘not in C. The last one was in C. I’ll start this one with…uh…G! Because, why not?’ and aside from trying to figure out when it was over, it just sort of worked the first time through.
…I don’t expect that sort of voodoo magic to happen often when I write songs, but it was still pretty cool that this song just knew right away what it was going to be.
People just stop talking
it’s a victimless crime
we close doors, change numbers
forget to find the time.
we change the lock
or lose the key
silence is the language that we speak,
it just changes by degrees.
We say the big things matter
the job he took, the town she left,
that little things don’t deserve attention
can’t hurt as much, can’t make waves
But I remember airplanes and xylophones
the way the sun kissed your freckled face
how everything falls apart someday
how even people can be replaced.
I know what I’m saying doesn’t really matter
hopes can get erased and hearts be battered
but the smallest of things always hurt more
the shattering of glass as milk hits the floor.
So if they tell you not to cry about it
you can still cry about it
the rules are made for breaking anyway.
And if they say you shouldn’t laugh about it,
laugh about it anyway
that’s how we live to fight another day.
Our lives are written on the things we cast aside
it’s not the bigger problems
but the small things that we hide
like cookies stolen from the jar
we might take them out,
but we never take them far.
They’ll tell you it only counts
in horse shoes and hand grenades
but I remember xylophones and airplanes
the sun that kissed your freckled face
and how I could feel your smile in my bones
but the only number I have for you
is 10 years out of date
and I forgot your last name
but I remember xylophones.